Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fall Seed Harvesting - AND, Watch For My Herb Celebration Posts Coming Up!

Dear Folks,

Time to harvest seed.  The summer plants are spent, and have "gone to seed" and are dried, meaning they are mature and viable.

I get questions from folks from time to time on when should they harvest seeds and the answer is when they are fully dried or almost dried.  That is it in a nutshell - and of course nuts are the seed of the tree. :-)

In the first picture working clockwise from the top are:  Garlic Chive Seeds, Egyptian Spinach (Corchorus olitorius, C. capsularis), and Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa).*

Some seeds like the Garlic Chives are pretty evident.  The tiny flowers begin to open and finish by folding back and revealing the black, dried seed.

Egyptian Spinach is an example of the long seed pod type plant.  The pod gradually dries and when fully or almost fully dried, the pod splits easily when you touch it.  I harvested these by hold the pod over a mason jar, pressing the pod, and the seeds freely flowed into the jar.

Roselle seed pods are a round thick skined capsule inside the swollen cranberry red calyx and you have to watch for when the seed pod starts to split at the seams.  If you harvest to soon the seeds will not be the mature, dull charcoal color.

I will package up these seeds for my use and to add to my Seed Bank Inventory.  They will be sown next March/April to give me Lettuce-Type Leaves (Egyptian Spinach and Roselle) and young garlic chives all next summer. 

I also saved the Roselle Calyx, after I shook out the seeds, to make tea and beverages this winter.  The dried Roselle looks quite different from the gorgeous glistening fresh "fruit" but the benefits are the same.  Some Vitamin C and other antioxidants are still present even dried and that nice lemony / cranberry flavor.

* In case you are not familiar with Roselle - if you have had tea which listed Hibiscus or Red Hibiscus as an ingredient, you have enjoyed the flavor and benefits of Roselle.

25 Days Celebrating Herbs of The Bible 

Worth Repeating!

Myrtle, Anise, Cinnamon, Cassia, Chamomile, Chicory, Dandelion, Sow Thistle, Horseradish, Sorrel, Coriander, Lavender, Cumin, Mint, Hyssop, Garlic, Leek, Sage, NIgella,  Laurel, Onion, Mustard, Marjoram, and Saffron.

[Pictured from my garden: Horseradish, Bay, Garlic and Syrian Oregano aka Hyssop.]

All of these herbs and spices are not only referenced in the Bible but also grown in the Biblical Lands.

Since the area is home to three of the major religions,  last year (2015) I posted a different herb each of the 25 (Advent) days of Christmas with history.  I discuss how the herb is used and some recipe ideas for you to enjoy and a craft project or two.  I also chose song links appropriate to the season.  NOTE:  all links in the posts should be good, but I apologize if any are no longer available.

To give you a heads up in case you want to prepare any of the recipe ideas, I am going to post 2 or 3 Days together every 2 or 3 days, instead of daily.  I don't want to miss a posting and I am current fielding some extra activities.

I hope you enjoy this month long Herbal Celebration!

Be sure to check out my side bar and below for gift ideas

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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